Location: Da Lat, Viet Nam
GFA: 3000 sq.m
Photography by: Quang Tran
The land plot, 3km from the center of Dalt city, sits on the hillside, offering a seemingly endless view toward the valleys, without any obstacle. The first time visisting the site, we just stood still, admiring the marvellous landscape from the place where the future coffee shop would be.
This was exactly the image of this landscape who initiated our design. The image of the undulating hills faded away into the mist of the valley was reproduced by the roof’s shapes and the staggered layout of the building blocks. This layout also created the transitional spaces between inside and outside, allowing the visitor to enjoy the pure air of the highland in a beautiful day.
Another image who triggered the design is the local greenhouses, gradually appeared inside the city. Putting aside the impacts of those greenhouses to the environment, we liked to reproduce the images of them lighten up in the night, the images that draw many of visitors to Da Lat. That’s why polycarbonate was chosen to be the envelope of the building. This material, combining with glass where necessary to prioritize the view to the landscape, create the effect of “lighten up greenhouse” for the building, in the night.
The design stage of the project took 2 years. This time was long enough for the unexpected changements in building policies of the local authority to take effect on the project. The original idea of a 3-zones coffee store, offering to the visitors an experiment journey start on the crowded street and end an open a space deep down in the wood, wholly connected with the nature. Finally, only zone 1 got the building permission. This was really a big regret of us, the architects of the project, and of the clients, who really wanted to create a coffee store with a standout quality of spaces.